Shot US lawmaker speaks out in first interview

November 11, 2011

US congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, shot point-blank in the head during a January meeting with voters, has spoken out in her first interview since the attack, discussing her remarkable recovery.

Asked by ABC News's Diane Sawyer whether she was still in pain, Giffords replied: "It's difficult," during the interview conducted in October, parts of which were aired late Thursday.

The interview covers Giffords' long recovery, in which she had to relearn such simple things as how to nod her head and how to smile. When asked how she felt, Giffords replied: "Pretty good."

also interviewed her astronaut husband , who retired from NASA after leading the US agency's last over the summer.

The interview was to be broadcast with home video clips filmed by Kelly documenting Giffords' recovery.

"I just thought, she's going to ask, 'OK, what was all that like?'" Kelly said about the video, parts of which will be broadcast with the interview on Monday.

Kelly has also written a book about his wife's recovery, entitled "Gabby: A Story of Hope and Courage," set to be released next week.

The January 8 shooting at a political forum outside a grocery store in Tucson, Arizona, was allegedly carried out by Jared Loughner, 22, an apparently troubled loner.

Six people were killed in the rampage, including a federal judge and a nine-year-old girl.

Giffords, a moderate lawmaker from President Barack Obama's Democratic Party, is well-liked on both sides of the bitter US political divide, and the shooting prompted a rare moment of bipartisan unity in grief.

She made a dramatic return to the House of Representatives on August 1 to vote on a controversial debt compromise, drawing a standing ovation from Democratic and Republican lawmakers.

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